Did you know that your credit history is not only an important factor when making a big purchase, but it can affect everyday life situations, such as renting an apartment, signing up for utilities and even getting hired for a job.
The finance experts at Equifax recently wrote an article, “Mythbusters: How Credit Impacts Your Daily Life,” which calls out common myths that people mistakenly believe to be true about credit.
Myth #1: “I don’t need to be concerned about my credit when filling out an apartment rental application.”
Fact: Actually, as many as 65 to 70 percent of landlords look at credit reports to find out if applicants have missed payments, been evicted in the past or have any delinquent accounts. Your application is more likely to be rejected if you have a credit score between 280 to 659. If you are on the lower end of the credit scale, providing proof of income or offering to pay the first month’s rent in advance is enough to convince some landlords.
Myth #2: “My credit score won’t affect my ability to secure utilities in my home or apartment.”
Fact: Utility companies will ask for your social security number to check your credit report as well. If you have a poor credit history, it will be more difficult to find a company to service you. In some cases, the company will grant you service even if you have a bad credit history, but you may be required to pay a larger deposit or provide a letter of guarantee with the signature of someone else who agrees to pay the bill if you do not.
Myth #3: “I don’t have to worry about my credit score impacting my ability to sign up for a cell phone plan.”
Fact: Two of the major US networks have strict credit requirements for a basic two-year phone contract. Also, to be eligible for the special deals and the newest phone offers found in advertisements, these companies require customers to have excellence credit. Although, those with bad credit may find still be able to find some type of service plan, even the more lineate companies require you to pay your bills for a whole year before you are eligible for any phone upgrades.
Myth #4: “My employer or potential employer won’t be able to access any of my credit history information.”
Fact: The Federal law allows current and potential employers the right to view a modified version of your credit report for reasons such as hiring or promoting, but only with your written consent first.
If you do not know what your credit score is and would like to find out, you can request a free credit report online through AnnualCreditReport.com.
For more information on how your credit score can affect your daily life, visit the Equifax Personal Finance blog.